What Biden's agenda on the environment could mean for the Pacific Northwest
SEATTLE — From reintroduction of the grizzly bear to its wild North Cascades redoubt to attacking climate change, a wide range of environmental policies could see a new direction in the Pacific Northwest under a Biden administration.For starters, government and nonprofit policy leaders say they are looking forward to a return to science as a basis for environmental policymaking. Perhaps nowhere is this more true than on climate warming.Gov. Jay Inslee has championed Washington climate and energy policies sharply at odds with a president who dismissed the threats posed by greenhouse gas emissio...
The Seattle Times
Bahamas is set to start offshore oil drilling just 150 miles off South Florida
MIAMI — Florida’s waters may be protected from offshore drilling but the Bahamas plans to start looking for oil in less than a month at an exploratory well just 150 miles off the coast of the Sunshine State.Bahamas Petroleum Company, or BPC, said in a regulatory filing last week that it contracted the UK-registered Stena IceMAX drill ship to begin work on the Perseverance No. 1 oil well in the southern Bahamas. The ship, currently anchored in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, is scheduled to arrive in the Bahamas on or around Dec. 15, the company said.“BPC anticipates that it will take 4-5 day...
Landmark book from 1995 by pioneering Minnesota conservationist gets update
MINNEAPOLIS — The voice of a Minnesotan who knew as much as anyone about the state’s ecology and spent a lifetime researching it and telling its story will echo again later next month.John Tester died last November, two days shy of his 90th birthday. Most of those years filtered through the lens of the state’s outdoors. As a boy in a hunting family in Gibbon, Minn. As a wildlife scientist on the front edge, for example, of wildlife radio telemetry still used to this day. As a University of Minnesota professor trying to teach what was known about the state’s environment and how the pieces conne...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Federal judge knocks down 2 permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant
SEATTLE — A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma struck down Army Corps of Engineers permits for a proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama, Cowlitz County, because they were not the result of a full review of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, according to a ruling released Monday.The loss of the two federal permits is the latest in a series of setbacks for the project first proposed in 2014 by NW Innovation Works to convert natural gas to methanol for shipment to China. The project also has so far failed to gain approval by the state Ecology Department.The permits —...
The Seattle Times
Commentary: Gray wolf population in peril unless Biden restores 'endangered species' protections
After decades of bitter legal feuds and culture war skirmishes over the fate of wild wolves in the United States, the Trump administration has tried to put a point at the end of the sentence. In stripping gray wolves of their Endangered Species Act protection across the country, the responsible federal agency went against both science and public opinion, and declared the species “biologically recovered.”But this delisting rule won’t stand up to scrutiny. More wolves will die as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service squares off, once again, in court against conservationists with strong arguments t...
PUC gives construction OK to Enbridge for Minnesota pipeline
Minnesota utility regulators Tuesday authorized their final go-ahead for Enbridge to build its controversial $2.6 billion oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.That leaves the Canadian company on the brink of beginning work, only needing a more routine stormwater permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).The state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Tuesday gave its OK for construction to begin. The PUC’s action was expected. It approved the overall project in February.The PUC’s action came a day after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a water quality-related constructi...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Editorial: Trump's climate policies are a disaster. For Florida's sake, Biden should undo them — quickly
This doesn’t seem normal. Tropical Storm Eta, after making landfall in the Florida Keys this month, dumped almost 14 inches in 24 hours in Miramar.Miami Lakes experienced “flooding we haven’t seen in modern times,” according to resident and Herald columnist Fabiola Santiago.Sections of North Miami received about 7 inches of rain, while parts of Kendall were hit with about 6 inches. Overall, Miami-Dade saw 4 inches to 8 inches of rain, compared with normal rainfall of 3.27 inches for all of November.And rainwater so overwhelmed Hollywood’s sewage treatment plant that officials told residents to...
General Motors abandons Trump administration in legal fight over California standards
DETROIT — General Motors Co. is abandoning a legal battle between the Trump administration and California over the state’s right to set its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy rules, the automaker said Monday, and urging other automakers to do the same.The move signals a recognition by GM that its electrification and zero emissions strategy is more closely aligned with the priorities of the incoming presidential administration, and that it is preparing for the likelihood of more unified auto industry regulations under President-elect Joe Biden.On the campaign trail, Bid...
The Detroit News
GM dumps Trump in his attempt to bar California from setting emissions
DETROIT — General Motors is changing course and will no longer back President Donald Trump’s effort to stop California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight.GM CEO Mary Barra said Monday that GM is withdrawing from preemption litigation between California, the Trump Administration and other non-government groups. In reaction to the move, President-elect Joe Biden said innovation and manufacturing will be priorities in his administration.The move comes days after GM said it is increasing the number of electric vehicles it will bring to market. GM will offer 30 new EVs b...
Detroit Free Press
Editorial: For Biden, ending US climate retreat is just a start
President-elect Joe Biden has made plenty of promises related to climate change and the environment. He has vowed to rescind or reverse some of the Trump administration’s moves to weaken regulations, which Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has numbered at 159. The president-elect proposes a $2 trillion “Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” plan that’s been described as historic, despite being far less ambitious than the Green New Deal authored by progressive Democrats. And Biden plans to deeply embed what could be called climate change consciousness into f...
The Philadelphia Inquirer